Reports & Testimonies

  • GAO’s recommendations database contains report recommendations that still need to be addressed.

    GAO’s recommendations help congressional and agency leaders prepare for appropriations and oversight activities, as well as help improve government operations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented. You can explore open recommendations by searching or browsing.

    GAO's priority recommendations are those that we believe warrant priority attention. We sent letters to the heads of key departments and agencies, urging them to continue focusing on these issues. These recommendations are labeled as such. You can find priority recommendations by searching or browsing our open recommendations below, or through our mobile app.

  • Browse Open Recommendations

    Explore priority recommendations by subject terms or browse by federal agency

    Search Open Recommendations

    Search for a specific priority recommendation by word or phrase

  • Governing on the go?

    Our Priorities for Policy Makers app makes it easier for leaders to search our recommendations on the go.

    See the November 10th Press Release

  • Have a Question about a Recommendation?

    • For questions about a specific recommendation, contact the person or office listed with the recommendation.
    • For general information about recommendations, contact GAO's Audit Policy and Quality Assurance office at (202) 512-6100 or
  • « Back to Results List Sort by   


    Subject Term: "Housing allowances"

    1 publication with a total of 1 open recommendation
    Director: Johana Ayers
    Phone: (202) 512-5741

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To ensure that the Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service (DCPAS) and DOD components are determining LQA eligibility consistently with DOD's LQA Instruction, the DSSR, and OPM compensation claim decisions, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to require the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy or DCPAS, as delegated, to monitor reviews of LQA eligibility determinations conducted by DOD components.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD has taken steps to improve oversight of LQA determinations by DOD components, but, as of November 2017, it has not issued guidance that requires the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy or DCPAS to monitor reviews of LQA eligibility determinations by DOD components, as GAO recommended in June 2015. In February 2016, DOD directed components to complete a review and submit a report of overseas allowances paid to a sampling of overseas employees. Component headquarters were required to submit specific information on each allowance approved by their subordinate offices along with supporting laws and regulations that authorize each allowance. According to DCPAS officials, the review was completed in September 2016. Out of 258 employees who received LQA at the time of the review, 11 were erroneously granted LQA. In June 2017, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs issued a memorandum announcing a review of overseas allowances and differentials authorized during calendar year 2016. As of November 2017, 3 employees out of a total of 208 employee files reviewed were determined to have been erroneously granted LQA in calendar year 2016. As of November 2017, one component had not yet reported the results of its review. According to DCPAS officials, as of November 2017, DOD is revising DOD's LQA instruction to require the DOD components to conduct annual reviews of LQA payments and communicate any inconsistencies to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy. However, it is unclear whether the revised instruction once issued will require the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary or DCPAS to monitor the reviews conducted by DOD components to identify any potentially inconsistent eligibility determinations and ensure corrective action is taken, as was the intent of GAO's June 2015 recommendation. DOD's two reviews of overseas allowances and its updating of the instruction are positive interim steps, but until DOD also requires the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy or DCPAS to monitor DOD components' reviews of LQA determinations, there is no assurance that such monitoring will be regularly conducted in the future.